When I eat an entire pan of enchiladas myself, I know that I have to share the recipe. Not only did I eat the entire pan myself, but I was actually sad to see the last one gone – that’s not how I usually feel after days of eating the same thing over and over again. Trust me, these are goooooooood. Gina’s Skinny Taste recipe for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas took longer to make than most of my weeknight dinners but it was worth the wait. I ate myself sick the first night (they were so good, I just couldn’t stop), and they tasted even better the second day for lunch and the following night for dinner. I filled my tortillas a little fatter than she did and topped mine with fresh avocado, but otherwise followed her recipe to the letter. Don’t wait long to make a pan of these!
Why decide on one restaurant when you can go to three? For a leisurely evening out, consider making your own progressive dinner party! A good friend and I just did this in my South Minneapolis neighborhood and had a blast, here’s what we did.
First things first, we stopped at Town Hall Lanes for a stuffed pretzel and were pleasantly surprised to find this:
After sampling some cider with our pretzels, we walked a few doors down to one of the best kept secrets in Minneapolis, 3 Tiers. Who says you have to save dessert for last?
We ended our adventures across the street at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Dominguez for some veggie taquitos:
With the return of warm weather, I can’t imagine a better way to spend an evening.
I don’t think recipes get much simpler than this one for Mexicorn Salad. This recipe comes from The Mother by way of her friend the Fabulous French Floridian, it was good.
It is simple and easy, you can use what you like and skip what you don’t. Here’s the basis:
1 can Mexican style corn, drained
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
Avocado, diced or sliced
Fresh tomatoes, diced or sliced
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired
Oil & vinegar dressing OR oil & balsamic OR Italian dressing
As you can see, The Mother arranged her ingredients sliced on a bed of corn and served her dressing on the side. If you prefer to dice your ingredients, I would toss all of them together and top with the eggs.
When I try this recipe myself, I’m going to skip the black olives (if The Husband is eating it) and might try adding black beans to the corn. This is a perfect picnic recipe that is easy to personalize, what would you do?
A really great restaurant can transport you somewhere else and that’s just what happened when we went to La Fresca for dinner. Located in south Minneapolis, this is the newest restaurant from chef Hector Ruiz and is described as “nouveau Mexican cuisine.” What exactly does that mean? Well, our server Boris could be heard telling tables throughout the room (ours included), “It’s Mexican food with a French twist.”
While we sat in the small, cheery dining room, Boris guided us through a delicious assortment of dishes. And the man knew exactly what he was talking about. He told us that the guacamole was best in the city and the verdict after my first bite? It was. It’s not my finest moment, but I tried subtly moving it closer to my side of the table with the hope The Husband would forget about it so I wouldn’t have to share:
There were no vegetarian options on the “terceros” section of the menu, but there were a few options in the “primeros” (small plates) and “secondaros” (salads). If every corn tortilla tasted like the homemade “corn tortilla boat” in their sopes, that would be all I ate. Far from the thin, dry store-bought corn tortilla, these were moist and tender:
Boris recommended the Frida salad, and it was as light and fresh as he said it would be. I was surprised to find in sprinkled with sea salt, even more surprised that I liked it. One of my favorite aspects of this salad was that the honey-chipotle chevre fondue was on the bottom. It really complimented the salad, not overwhelming it or adding heaviness:
The Husband was having problems making up his mind but Boris sold him on the Carne Asada. I watched him take his first bite and saw his eyes roll in what I can only describe as ecstasy:
I’m disappointed that we were both too full to try dessert but look forward to going back. If you need to transport yourself somewhere else for an evening, consider a little nouveau Mexican. Just make sure to save room for dessert and let me know how it is!
The weekend was more quiet than most since I was a little under the weather. Most of Saturday was spent like this:
Thank goodness I felt better Sunday, The Husband and I had a class at The Minnesota Raptor Center. The Raptor Center was established in 1974 as part of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and rehabilitates more than 700 sick and injured raptors each year. They also help identify emerging environmental issues related to raptor health and populations. They are an internationally renowned education facility and train veterinary students and veterinarians from around the world to become future leaders in raptor medicine and conservation. If you haven’t visited, I highly recommend it. We had signed up for a Basic Digital Photography for the Nature Photographer Class taught by Carlyn Iverson. It was amazing learning about the raptors, The Raptor Center, and having a chance to take photos of the amazing ambassadors that they have on site.
The first raptor we met was this Peregrine Falcon. She was very intense about feeding time:
This female Bald Eagle has been at The Raptor Center for years after a sheriff found her beside a road. The injury that she sustained makes her wings unable to move as needed for release back into the wild:
This Great Horned Owl was brought to The Raptor Center after being hit by a car. One of her wings no longer functions as needed for release back into the wild. She was stunning:
This American Kestrel was my favorite. She LOVED the camera and wouldn’t stop posing. All I could think was, “Who’s a pretty girl?”
All of that time outdoors made us hungry so we hit a neighborhood favorite for dinner, Dominguez. The Dominguez family comes from the town of Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos, just 45 miles south of Mexico City. Their website says that Cuernavaca is known as the “City of Eternal Spring” because its climate is so consistent. Temperatures hover around 68 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. Minneapolis weather is certainly not that right now, but their food felt like a little escape from the frozen tundra.
Usually I get the Veggie Chimichanga which is awesome but I decided to try something new and got the Veggie Taquitos. If you want some good Mexican food, you need to give this neighborhood gem a try: